Here’s my conversation with John McWhorter, who has written extensively on race, on whether Barack Obama becoming the Democratic presidential nominee means that we’ve become a “post-racist America.”
We talked about the generational aspect of America accepting a non-white-man as the most powerful person in the world — the younger you are, the more likely you are to see it as no problem — and whether Obama will be able to convince those blue-collar Democrats who supported Hillary to vote for him (not to mention independents and Republicans).
We also discussed the idea that, in supporting Obama, America isn’t voting for a black man, they’re voting for this black man. Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, and Alan Keyes never had a chance of winning but, like Jackie Robinson breaking baseball’s color barrier, it may be a question of Obama being the right African-American. In that light, I asked McWhorter if the clips of Rev. Wright hurt Obama because they may have made the “too black” warning light go on for some voters, and whether he expects the issue to be revived as the campaign progresses.
It would be nice to see that, as a nation, we have moved forward as much as McWhorter believes.